Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Los Angeles Angels joined the American League in 1961. They are in the League’s West Division and have played in Angel Stadium in Anaheim since 1966. Their colors are carnelian, midnight blue and white.
In 1960, Major League baseball decided to add another team in Los Angeles. A ownership group consisting of Hall of Fame Slugger Hank Greenberg and master promoter Bill Veeck were set to buy the franchise, but Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley refused to waive his exclusive city rights for them, and instead the franchise went to movie star turned media mogul Gene Autry. He named the team the Angels after a the minor league team that had long been based in Los Angeles. In 1966, the team moved south from Los Angeles to suburban Anaheim and became the California Angels.
The Angels managed to win 86 games in their second season and young stars such as Jim Fregosi and Dean Chance — who won the 1964 Cy Young with a stunning 1.65 ERA — kept them in the middle of the pack for most of the sixties.
The Angels struggled for most the seventies, although their pitching staff did feature fireballers Nolan Ryan and Frank Tanana. Between them an Angel won every single AL strikeout crown between ‘72 and ‘79, with Ryan setting an all-time record with 383 Ks in 1973.
In 1979 the Angels bolstered a line up already featuring Don Baylor and Bobby Grich with Rod Carew, and that was enough to finally get them to playoffs, winning the division but losing in the first round for now-manager Jim Fregosi.
Through trades and free agency the Angels began to stack their team with stars like Reggie Jackson, Fred Lynn, Bob Boone and Doug Decinces. This lead to division titles in 1982 and 1986, however they lost both ALCS’s in heartbreaking fashion.
The Angels struggled for most of the next sixteen years but broke out in 2002 with a Rally Monkey-powered World Series victory. Managed by Mike Scioscia and led by Vladimir Guerrero, the Angels were as good as anybody in baseball for the rest of the decade yet have no World Series appearances to show for their five division titles.
Soon after buying the team in 2003, Arte Moreno changed its name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Moreno was extremely aggressive in the free agent market in 2011 and 2012, signing Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton to enormous contacts. However, so far those moves haven’t paid the dividends Angles’ fans had hoped they would. On the bright side, center fielder Mike Trout’s first and second years are arguably the best combined freshman and sophomore campaigns in the history of baseball.
Key players: Bo Belinsky, Jim Fregosi, Dean Chance, Don Baylor, Nolan Ryan, Frank Tanana, Don Baylor, Bobby Grich, Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Fred Lynn, Bob Boone, Doug Decinces, Brian Downing, Wally Joyner, Troy Glaus, Troy Percival, Darin Erstad, Tim Salmon, Chuck Finley, Garrett Anderson, Vladimir Guerrero. Bartolo Colon, John Lackey, Jeff Weaver, Albert Pujols, Mike Trout.
Key Managers: Jim Fregosi, Mike Scioscia
Division titles: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, 1986, 1982, 1979
League Pennants: 2002
World Series titles: 2002
All-time record: 4220 and 4236